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Quick Facts: Paralegal Industry

Median Pay:   $48,350 per year | $23 per hour
Entry-Level Education:   Associate's degree

Paralegal Occupations:

  • Paralegals and legal assistants$48,350

Online Paralegal Diplomas

In every law firm, there are many people who work together to help protect the interests of their clients. Whether in family law, corporate law, child protection or small claims, people need the help of a law firm to represent them in and out of court.

While lawyers may be what you think of when you think of a law firm, there are countless other individuals who have to work hard to support them. Legal assistant and paralegals often take on the very same challenges in a law firm, but they will need significantly less education in order to begin working.

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4 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
  • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
  • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
  • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
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Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Committed to excellence in education since 1916 with a rich history of helping students find successful careers.
  • Offers more than 50 programs including criminal justice, technology, business, and more.
  • Its fully-accredited campuses offer day, evening, and online classes.
  • Provides tutoring at no additional charge to assist during stressful times.
  • Revises curriculum continually to keep pace with improvements in technology and the increasing needs of business and industry.
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    1 Program(s) Found
    • Offers career-focused programs in allied health, business, and computer technology, and more.
    • On-the-job training available through externships, internships, and clinical placements.
    • Graduates in good standing can take refresher sessions in courses at no additional cost.
    • Day and evening class options are available for flexible scheduling.
    • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
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    Good for Working Adults
    • Flexible Scheduling
    • Financial Aid
    1 Program(s) Found
    • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
    • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
    • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
    • 3 campuses in Southern California.
    • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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    Good for Working Adults
    • Accredited
    • Flexible Scheduling
    • Accelerated Programs
    • Financial Aid
    • Transferable Credits
    1 Program(s) Found
    • Designated a Military Friendly School by Victoria Media in 2015.
    • Offers various scholarship opportunities to military students who qualify.
    • Provides programs in Allied Healthcare, Information Technology, Cosmetology, HVAC, Business, Massage Therapy and Veterinary Technology.
    •  Institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education (COE), with online accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
    • 6 campuses across Texas, with a campus in Las Cruces, New Mexico and online.
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      2 Program(s) Found

      About Brightwood College

      Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

      About Education Corporation of America

      Education Corporation of America's institutions broaden access to postsecondary educational opportunities.

        3 Program(s) Found
        • Guarantees flat-rate tuition for students who stay continuously enrolled.
        • Offers a four-day class schedule, leaving Fridays open.
        • Founding member of the Accrediting Council for Independent Schools and Colleges (ACICS) in 1912.
        • Career assistance services are provided to all students and graduates for life.
        • Has programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
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        Good for Working Adults
        • Accredited
        • Flexible Scheduling
        • Financial Aid
        • Transferable Credits
        4 Program(s) Found
        South College , Asheville

        At South College we welcome students from all different stages of life and career.  Whether you are pursing a degree for the first time, going back to school as an adult learner, or furthering your career with an advanced degree, our faculty and staff will partner with you to give your dreams direction.

        Good for Working Adults
        • Accredited
        • Flexible Scheduling
        • Financial Aid
        2 Program(s) Found
        • Providing ambitious students with the opportunity for an exciting new education and career since 1995.
        • Programs start every six months and range from 3-week programs to 14-month long associate degree programs.
        • Class sizes are usually no more than 25 students.
        • Has campuses located in Lansing, Jackson and Kalamazoo, Michigan.
        • Open late to accommodate the schedule of working adults, its career services provide access to computers, internet service, placement coordinators and job support.
        • Licensed as a private college by the State of Michigan and accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education.
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        Good for Working Adults
        • Flexible Scheduling
        • Financial Aid
        5 Program(s) Found
        CDI College , Edmonton
        • Has been one of the leading career training institutions in Canada for over 40 years.
        • Gives students the chance to complete a career-focused program in a matter of months.
        • Offers programs in healthcare, business, and technology.
        • Emphasizes hands-on training with practical projects.
        • Works with industry specialists to create relevant, up-to-date programs. 
        • Offers flexible schedule options— students can choose between day and evening classes.
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          If you are interested in working as a paralegal, then read on to learn more about the various degrees, potential careers and what it takes to succeed in this field.

          Would You Be a Successful Paralegal?

          The most successful paralegals will have the ability to communicate well with a range of different individuals, will have compassion, will be able to work long hours, will have excellent reading comprehension skills and will be great writers.

          Unlike lawyers, paralegals do not have to have the ability to take cases to trial or argue before a judge or jury. However, they will need to do much of the research and paperwork involved in many different kinds of trials and cases.

          If you want to be successful in a particular area, you should have a specialization in an area like small claims, criminal law, family law, corporate mergers or real estate law.

          Which Paralegal Certification is Best?

          To begin working as a paralegal, you will need to have either a bachelor's degree in paralegal studies, an associate degree in paralegal studies or a certificate or diploma in paralegal studies.

          A bachelor's degree in paralegal takes roughly four years to complete and will prepare students to immediately begin working as a paralegal in law firms or governmental agencies. A bachelor's degree will also allow you to learn a little about several different types of law, making it a great choice. An associate degree in paralegal studies covers many of the same subjects as a bachelor's degree, but it will only take two years on average to complete.

          A certificate or diploma can take as little as six months to complete and will allow you to find work in entry level paralegal positions. A paralegal diploma can be added onto an existing bachelor's degree in any subject, or it can stand alone with a high school degree.

          What Career Opportunities Will be Available?

          Once you have received a diploma, certificate or degree in paralegal studies, you will be prepared to work in several different career paths. Qualified paralegals can work in private law firms, which are currently the biggest employers of paralegals in the United States. Paralegals can also find work in insurance companies, banks and large corporations as part of the onsite legal team. The market for paralegals will continue to rise as the law industry grows.

          Is an Online Diploma a Good Idea?

          Earning online paralegal diplomas are a great choice as they are more affordable, more convenient, more flexible and offer better variety than traditional brick and mortar college programs. Online programs can be completed at your own pace, and the work done whenever you have free time in your schedule. If you are interested in becoming a paralegal but don't have the income to stop working at your current job, an online degree will allow you to study and work full time at the same time.

          If you are interested in pursuing a career as a paralegal, then consider earning an online degree or diploma to begin working sooner.

          The paralegal professional is an essential and vital part of any legal team. An associate degree in paralegal studies will provide a solid foundation in law and paralegal skills. Once you have earned your paralegal degree, you may pursue career opportunities or job advancement in a legal environment such as a private law firm, corporate law department, or local, state, or federal agency where duties may include assisting with litigation preparation, document supervision, aiding attorneys in courtroom proceedings, and researching legal issues.

          Related Article

          How to Become a Paralegal

          How to Become a Paralegal

          Today's fast paced legal environment requires well-trained reliable paralegals to assist lawyers research and prepare their cases. Paralegals can choose the field of law that interests them most whether corporate, criminal or personal injury.

          Read More...